The first lot of 12 units of 10m Short Span Bridging System (SSBS) designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been inducted into the Indian Army on Friday.
"The 12 bridges are part of 102 SSBS 10m from L&T Ltd, which is the production agency," the Defence Ministry said.
The bridges were inducted into the force by Army Chief General M.M. Naravane during a ceremony held at the Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment.
"Our capabilities will increase with this. We already had 5m and 15m bridges, but 10m was also needed. This will speed up the operations for mechanised formations on the western borders," General Naravane said.
The SSBS-10m plays a crucial role of bridging the gaps up to 9.5m as a single span provides a 4m wide, fully decked roadway, ensuring faster movement of the troops.
The Research and Development Establishment in Pune, a premier engineering laboratory of the DRDO, has designed and developed the system in association with L&T Ltd.
"The Short Span Bridging System project involved the development of two prototypes of 5m SSBS on Tatra 6x6 chassis and another two prototypes of 10m SSBS on Tatra 8x8 re-engineered chassis," the ministry said.
Both the systems have undergone rigorous trials by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) andd the MET, and after successful completion of all the trials, they were recommended for induction into services.
This bridging system is compatible with the Sarvatra Bridging System (75m), where the last span requires covering gaps less than 9.5m.
The deployed bridge is of the load classification of MLC 70. The system will help in quick movement of troops and enhance the mobilisation of resources.
The DRDO has vast experience in developing critical combat engineering systems like military bridging systems. A number of mechanised mobility solutions for the Indian Army like Single Span 5m and 10m, Short Span Bridging System, 46m Modular Bridge, 20m BLT-T72 and multi-span 75m Sarvatra Bridging System etc. have been developed by it. The manually launched 34.5m Mountain Foot Bridge was also developed by DRDO earlier.
These bridges have been widely accepted by the Indian Army.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated th DRDO, Indian Army and the industry on the successful development and induction of the system.
He stated that this induction will give a boost to the fast-growing Indian defence industrial ecosystem and help the industry contribute towards 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.